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A futuristic, driverless hearse concept called the Aeternal (Charles Bombardier)
A futuristic, driverless hearse concept called the Aeternal (Charles Bombardier)

Prototypes

A futuristic, driverless hearse for a high-tech burial Add to ...

Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.

The concept

The Aeternal is a futuristic hearse created to offer a luxurious and high-tech burial. This driverless vehicle is mounted on mecanum wheels and features a multimedia projector, and a surround sound system. Coffins transported by the Aeternal would be sold separately and they could be raised (exposed) or lowered within the vehicle.

Renderings provided by Charles Bombardier

Background

The Aeternal is an improvement of the Korbiyor. Its looks and features are updated and it’s designed for better comfort in the afterlife.

How it works

The Aeternal is made to be maneuverable in places like the funeral home, the church, and the cemetery. It can slowly rotate and execute maneuvers in tight spots because it’s equipped with mecanum wheels (also known as ‘Ilon wheels’ after their Swedish inventor, Bengt Ilon, who came up with the idea in 1973.) The wheels can move independently from one another, giving the Aeternal a wider range of movement. It can fit in any space and won’t damage the floors.

The Aeternal would be auto piloted or easily and quickly directed by remote control. During the march leading from the funeral home to the church or the church to the cemetery, it would follow the person walking in front. It could also complete this course by itself by following a pre-set path and speed, and it could easily avoid any unforeseen obstacles in its path.

The casket would be transparent to allow others to see and pay their final respects to the deceased. The cover could be taken off when the body is on display and replaced prior to burial. Caskets would need to respect certain dimensions if they need to be lowered inside the vehicle. Some of them could be made of plastic, glass, or any other material. The vehicle would be made of lightweight composite materials. For transparent coffins, the inside would automatically be kept cool since the temperature of the enclosure would rise quickly under the sun. (Note that the A/C system would be positioned on the vehicle.)

Music and pictures could be uploaded or streamed to the Aeternal. The vehicle could project holographic content on the floor and speakers could play the deceased’s favorite music during the procession. Those features are at the discretion of the family and can easily be disabled.

What it’s used for

Aeternal’s concept simply tries to imagine how today’s hearses could evolve with integrated driverless technology, robotics, and multimedia. It tries to celebrate the departed in a new way. The Aeternal is made to offer all the simple pleasures someone used to enjoy. Not only will the body be displayed so that family and friends can see their loved one for the last time, but a part of the soul of that person as well, since the Aeternal can play their favourite music or display videos they took earlier in their life.

The designer

The images of the Aeternal concept were created by Abhishek Roy. Roy is the founder of Lunatic Koncepts, a design lab based in Mumbai, India. His team also created the renderings for the Xoupir commuter bus and the Modal container transportation drone.

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